Simple 12 Volt Pump




Introduction: Simple 12 Volt Pump

About: Master 12 Volt Electronics Technician...or "Car audio installer" by trade. I love to build, make, create, design. My job provides a great avenue to do all those things while getting paid. Electronics and aud...

A well used water jug gets a new life after nozzle failure. The jug did well for rinsing dishes, hands and whatever else for probably 5 years while camping and on road trips. The nozzle stopped being water tight pretty quickly after purchase but if you keep the jug upright and only tip it when using it worked great. The nozzle finally broke off completely but instead of tossing it, I decided to make it better.

This project led to the the bucket sink project shown in the picture and can be seen here,(vote for me in the bucket contest if you like it, thanks!)

Step 1: Overview/Parts/Tools

I'm an avid camper and rockhound(I collect rocks), so a 12 volt rinse station sounds like a pretty good idea. I have a portable jump box that works perfect for most 12 volt devices and I can take anywhere, plus this will likely be in the back end of any rig I take camping so I can plug it into a accessory socket, or right to the battery when needed. This will be used for rinsing muddy/sandy boots, rinsing rocks at the campsite, etc. I'll probably not use it for drinking water after this.

Parts:12 Volt fountain pump from Amazon - $9

Tubing to fit pump from Amazon - 4Fused 12 volt accessory plug - Free

Power and ground wire (sufficient size and length for your pump and how close you want to be to your power supply.) - Free

Zipties - Free

Butt Connecters - Free

Marine Heat shrink - $6 or so on Amazon for set of various sizes (My connections are actually outside the jug because the pump has roughly 12 inches of power and ground, but this heat shrink makes the connection water tight, just in case)


Wire strippers/crimpers/cutters

Heat gun or Lighter

Step 2: Tubing

My pump said it could pump up 9' of tube, so I cut mine to 6' considering it was slightly oversized. When using the jug before I ended up with a muddy spot right next to the table or tailgate it sat on. With 6' of tube I can keep the mud away from walking areas(Update, My bucket sink caddy insures no wet ground where I walk at all!). I just cut to 6' and zip tied to the pump outlet. I also ziptied the power wires to the pump body to reduce the strain on the connection. Then run both the wires and tube out the nozzle hole on the jug lid.

I also added a small clip I had laying around by cutting slits in one side with the dremel, and ziptied it in place. I put another ziptie only semi tight on the other side for stability but I can still open and close the clamp. I will probably upgrade to something stronger when I find a likely candidate.

Step 3: Power Connection

-Slide your Heat shrink over both wires from pump.

-Strip back each wire from pump and power plug about 3/8th of an inch.

-Crimp butt connecter on each and then connect to matching color.

-Slide heat shrink over and heat with heat gun or lighter all over.

I ended up swapping the 12 volt accessory plug with one that had a switch, this allows me to turn the pump on and off without unplugging it. I used the same connection technique as before.

Step 4: Finish Work and Test.

I put a ziptie on each side of the butt connects to mount it to the tubing. It has just enough power wire and tube to each the bottom of the water jug and stop. Filled it up (5 gallons) and took only a few minutes to empty, while only using about 1% of my battery power on my jump box. Well worth it!

The pump does strain when I put my thumb on the end of the tube to create pressure but acts like it can handle it to a certain degree. I will likely make a nozzle for it next to increase pressure just enough to make it more effective on clay/mud.

After updating the switch and adding the bucket caddy, this set up has proven it's worth.

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Nice way to make a useful tool, thank you for sharing.


    4 years ago

    12v fountain pump is a great idea less than half the price of a caravan water pump.